Knights of the Zodiac Review

Saint Seiya has had many films and series over the years but we hadn’t really gotten the live action version before now. Well, that was all to change with this one. Interestingly it decided to go with the American name for the franchise but that one’s always worked well so it’s a reasonable move. Unfortunately the movie isn’t doing so great at the box office so the chances of a sequel are beginning to dim. It’s definitely a shame since this one sets the seeds very well but I guess it’s going to be back to the drawing board for the franchise.

The film kicks off with two fighters battling it out in the night sky. The hero manages to protect the baby Athena before he is ultimately destroyed in the process. We then cut to the present where Seiya is a street fighter who takes on all challengers although he does a lot more dodging than actual fighting. After a particularly tricky fight Seiya is attacked by mysterious warriors and so a mysterious old guy tells him that they have to hurry out of there. Next thing Seiya knows he’s in a castle where a girl named Sienna is said to be the reincarnation of Athena and Seiya has to protect her since Seiya is the Pegasus incarnation from the knights. Does he have the power to pull this off…and why should he?

A lot of the story here is about following your destiny or trying to break past it if need be. Fortunately Seiya is a hero through and through so while it may not make a whole lot of sense at first, he does get with the program and help out as needed. He doesn’t get along with Sienna very well at first but in large part this is due to her being rude the whole time so you don’t really blame him. I’d say that Seiya is a likable main character who is told to believe a whole lot of things at face value right off the bat so it makes sense that he would be skeptical.

He went from being an ordinary fighter to having to fight world ending threats over night so I cut him a lot of slack. I’d say the movie also did a good job of including a little humor to his character as well. The original show may not have had too much time for it but Seiya did have a sense of humor that would show up once in a while. Here he gets some clever one liners and insults spread throughout the film and they help to make him feel much more like a complete character.

He still has his confidence and willingness to jump into battle as well. Definitely a solid lead all around. Now as you may have heard, the rest of the bronze saints don’t appear here which is definitely an odd choice. Instead we jump right to Phoenix Ikki…who has been renamed Nero for the movie and this time he’s working for a human named Guraad. This part is more inspired by the TV show and it’s an interesting angle. Basically she believes that Athena has to die in order to save the world from a dark prophecy and Nero is helping out. You have to be careful who you trust as a villain though.

Nero easily steals the show here with his constant sarcastic wit. The guy has an answer for everything and of course he has the power to back it up. If not for all the trailers showing that Nero would get in on the action you may start to get a little nervous halfway through the film though as you hope he will get to fight here. I can tell you that skipping his fight would have really hurt the film. As it stands we get to see exactly why he is so confident. His abilities really speak for themselves.

I also thought the movie went all out with making the effects for his costume and attacks good. One of the movie’s few weaknesses is that Seiya’s suit looks really bad. It’s nothing like his classic attire and looks like something out of Mortal Kombat instead. I like Mortal Kombat as much as the next guy but it doesn’t make sense to change this when Seiya is so popular and world renown for the outfit. His Pegasus Fist was also ruined here unfortunately. It just looks like smoke to an extent and not a rapid blow of fists. So the effects could have been a lot better but Nero’s looked good.

The fight scenes were all really solid though. I knew I was in for a treat right away when I saw the shockwaves behind every hit during the Seiya vs Cassios fight. Super satisfying all the way. I dare say it may have been the best fight in the film with the only competition being Nero vs Seiya. Both very good fights but in general all the hand to hand and beam battles were good. If you’re looking for action then this film delivered.

Guraad also made for a good villain. She wants to save the world even if it means destroying all of her bonds. She even knows how to fight with her technology and aura in a pinch. She doesn’t finish very well though as this kind of villain only really works when she is determined and ready to see her goals through to the end. When you’re a super evil villain like this then that’s what you really need to do but the instant you waver then that’s no good. It’s way too late for the victims at that point and so I much rather see a villain who sees the plan through than one who has doubts.

That’s why I wasn’t thrilled about parts of her character arc here but ultimatelys he is still good. I actually prefer her by a large margin to Alman who feels more wishy washy and the guy went too far. He caused just about as much damage as Guraad and while he ultimately did stop, he certainly took his time in the past. Princess Sienna is a good character though. She’s your classic “I’m really tough” character who comes in strong with the insults and doesn’t want to let anyone get too close.

She can’t control her powers yet though so don’t expect a lot of actual wins but at least she can talk tough which is always appreciated. Seiya knows that he can’t let his guard down around her or she’ll insult him again. By the end of the film I’d say that she has finally balanced her attitude along with being a little nicer though. If the films end up turning her into a real fighter that would be great.

I also have to give the film credit for how it handled Cassios. He’s considerably better here than in any other Saint Seiya media that I’ve seen. The guy was a full character and a strong fighter even before getting powers. The guy actually dealt damage to the automatic cosmo soldiers at one point and he also has a lot of confidence. Ultimately he might let himself get manipulated a little too easily and don’t expect him to actually come out on top but he’s a villain who is very entertaining to see. I was glad that he wasn’t just a one shot joke character.

The movie does have a good fakeout involving this with Alman’s bodyguard. When the first guy shows up to get one shotted by the villains you figure that the film did him dirty but then we see the true bodyguard after that and he looks good. It’s a bit cheesy that anyone could beat a bunch of these dark knights with a sword and gun combo. I’m not really sure that I buy it at all but it did make for a fun action scene.

The story, characters, and fights were definitely good all around. The only other issue is the pacing did get a little slow during the training by Marin. I felt like the desert didn’t make for the most interesting backdrop and the training itself was a little more on the plain side. There wasn’t much to it so it wasn’t super interesting. You were just waiting for Seiya to get back already to help out Sienna and stop the villains. Eventually Marin saw reason there but she definitely delayed him. It would be nice to see Marin more in the sequel because she can fight so she should be really useful there.

Overall, It was probably a mistake to change so many things from the manga. Having the rest of the Saints show up here would have been the better decision rather than saving them for a sequel that may or may not happen. I don’t think it would have been a whole lot to juggle. Either way I am looking forward to the sequel for this film if it arrives. As far as live action adaptions of a manga go I thought this was a fairly strong one. I was entertained the whole time and while it was a different adventure, I thought it captured the spirit of the adventure. Next time lets get more of the classic music tracks in here though instead of remixes playing very silently in the background.

Overall 8/10

Knights of the Zodiac: Saint Seiya – Battle for Sanctuary Review

It’s time to jump back into the world of Saint Seiya. It’s definitely impressive how many times we get to see the classic arc of the Bronze Saints running through the temples. This one does a good job of redoing the saga. Ultimately while the CG will always have its limits against the classic hand drawn style, it does a good job with the colors and action. It’s also setting up some original storylines for this version which is a good way to differentiate itself from the original story. All in all, whether you’re a fan of Saint Seiya or not you should still have a great time here.

Well last time things ended on a rather intense note as Athena was stabbed with an arrow. Basically this was no ordinary arrow and any attempt to pull it out of her would destroy the goddess immediately. The only one who can take this out is the Pope but he is the one trying to murder Athena. Seiya and friends have no choice but to go and invade the 12 castles and reach the Pope in Sanctuary. To do this they will have to defeat the 12 Gold Saints, the strongest fighters in history. Can they pull this off or are they already doomed? They won’t know until they try and as they are true heroes they won’t back down until they have made this a reality. It is time for their ultimate battle.

One of the fun things about this arc is how it’s basically nonstop action. The heroes go from one fight to the next without much in the way of breaks. It’s also what makes their victories even more impressive because they are fighting the strongest foes in existence and they are doing this without stopping to catch their breath or anything like that. Of course you know that Seiya is ready for such a challenge but what about the others? They haven’t had a chance to do much of anything in the Netflix version up to now. Well, you will be glad to know that they look better here even if Seiya is still the one doing most of the work.

One of the original storylines I mentioned involves Genet who didn’t just get written out of the story this time. Instead she continues to act as a knight and has been added to the Marin subplot. She gets an original scene involving confronting her master and at the rate we’re going she may get even more screen time in season 3. This change works pretty well as it’s a very natural way of expanding the cast and I think she has a lot of potential here. Hopefully she really gets to show her stuff and even takes down a strong opponent. I’m not asking for a gold saint in particular but beating a silver saint for example would be great.

One addition that didn’t work as well was Virgo Shaka’s skeleton minions. I didn’t really see the point of these guys. I suppose they were there to temporarily split up the saints again but it felt more like the show was stalling for time than anything. Like they were just here so that the season could end at a specific point. Perhaps that is exactly the case but they weren’t very interesting villains and of course one turned huge. That’s the CG dream after all, to throw in a giant boss. Even the movie did that but there was just no point for these guys and I couldn’t take them seriously. Since it didn’t come at the expense of the main story though I was okay with this.

Tauros looks impressive here as he takes out all of the saints aside from Seiya in one shot. Those guys were definitely found lacking when it counted but they did a good job of showing Seiya overcoming the odds. One thing I’ve really liked here is how he grows wings of energy when he powers up. It’s a really nice touch as the Pegasus saint and also makes him stand out. So I thought that was a really good idea right off the bat. I also like the way the cosmos is portrayed visually. When Seiya powers up you can really tell if he’s burning the cosmos at a higher level or if he can go even further based on if it’s just blue or blue and red. So the fight was satisfying.

The show also gave a better reason for why he and Mu aren’t helping out more. Because in this show they actually are helping out but then they get taken out by the Pope. It’s little details like this which the show executes well. It’s effectively looking at some of the criticisms of the arc and making changes to make things work a little better. Even the whole prophecy angle about how Athena will cause everyone to die is better than them blindly following the Pope. Not by a large margin mind you since I still blame them a whole lot but it’s still something. Every bit counts here.

Then we have the Gemini armor who crushed Hyoga rather quickly (This is a really bad season for Hyoga I have to say. He got wrecked by Aldebaran, then he got wrecked by Gemini, and then he got destroyed by Camus. The guy could not catch a break here) and then we get the good fight with Andromeda. It was certainly Andromeda’s stand out moment in the season so far as she made the most of her chain. I may not be the biggest fan of the chain in general but it still does turn up when it counts. The Gemini armor is also fun with how he makes the illusions and changes the fights up. You can’t approach him the way you would an ordinary foe.

Not much to say about Camus since he shows up and takes care of business immediately but I like how cold and calculating he is. The guy may not be heroic but you can imagine him protecting his temple with ease. Deathmask is still the biggest disgrace to the Saints. I can’t believe this guy was ever allowed to be a Gold Saint because you’d expect them not to employ actual mass murderers right? It would have been nice if they threw in a line about how the Pope only recently brought him in as a gold saint. That would have done wonders for the saints in general. Of course it was nice to see Shiryu crush him either way.

Then we got the really big fight with Aiolia which was always a standout battle. This guy’s light speed punches are incredible and he just keeps making them faster and faster. It’s a fight where Seiya has to keep on getting stronger and it’s fair to say that Aiolia has to be one of the most powerful Gold Saints. He at least does his brother proud in deciding to finally question the Pope and seek out answers. Unfortunately it doesn’t go great but the attempt was nice. He’s one of the few Gold Saints who is actually likable as a person rather than just as a villain to be defeated. We also get to see Aiolia take on Milo and considering how weakened Aiolia is, it was impressive to see him going toe to toe like that. I doubt many other Saints could have pulled that off.

Of course then we get to Virgo Shaka who is always very impressive with his power level. Many consider him to be the most powerful Golden Saint and those who don’t say he is second to Gemini Saga. You can make good arguments either way although I always do give Gemini Saga the edge here. His raw power is just so incredible but Virgo Shaka is clearly giving everyone a good fight. Fortunately Phoenix Ikki shows up for his big fight in the season. (Yeah I’m not going to call him Nero) Definitely one of the standout fights in the whole season with a lot of back and forth as we see exactly why Phoenix’s cloth is so legendary. No other cloth can regenerate like his and Ikki is basically immortal due to being the Phoenix saint. It’s a very potent combo to be sure and keeps him in the fight at all times.

Then we end with Seiya taking on Milo which was a cool way to end the season. Basically once again Seiya is the last one able to fight and you can bet that he won’t be going down easy. His dedication has earned him a spot as one of Jump’s top heroes. Meanwhile the other old bronze saints get to show up to protect Athena but in general that subplot does feel a bit out of place. The randoms of Sanctuary are treated as pure comic relief and it was a bit off putting just how extreme they were. It was like the show was trying a little too hard to be funny. I think Saint Seiya can certainly inject some humor into the mix if they want to but you have to be a little more subtle than this. You’re more likely to roll your eyes than actually chuckle at the characters. They are also insultingly weak so there is no salvaging them there.

Now with the animation the CG here is pretty good as I mentioned above. The colors are sharp and so the fights work well. There is more actual choreography and movement here than last time so the fights feel like they have a lot more substance. The theme song is still great here and so the show flows well on a technical level. The 12 episodes really fly by and I don’t really have any big negatives for the show. It adapts the source material pretty well and for the most part the additions only serve to enhance the story. The one exception would be the skull knights under Virgo Shaka and the comic relief soldiers who attack Athena. Those still aren’t bad enough to really hurt the series either.

It’s only natural that this beats season 1 also because it’s adapting source material that’s a lot more hype. 1 had a lot of great content to be sure but the Gold Saint fights are legendary for good reason. There are so many engaging moments here so each episode is a blast and a half. The cliffhanger here is also super effective and really works well to end things off. You can already recognize the formula to the fights so you sort of know how it’ll play out but that doesn’t take away from it being an emotional moment. Saint Seiya pretty much invented the classic format of being knocked down but getting back up again. It’s all about determination and these characters have that in spades.

Throughout the show all of the bronze saints are great. Andromeda can fight when she needs to, Hyoga always has his confidence even if he gets stomped a lot, and Shiryu is always fighting at a high level. He probably starts on a higher base level than Seiya. The difference is that Seiya has the best durability and continues to get stronger as the fight goes on so by the end he is always super powerful. His confidence feels the most earned from the group and he also takes this the most personally in protecting Athena so he just refuses to go down. Of course we saw a lot of that in season 1 already so I’m focusing more on Ikki here.

This is the first time we get to see Ikki as a hero and it’s really an incredible moment. Ikki can always be trusted to show up and protect Andromeda when it counts. He may have lost his way for a while there but now he is back to being the very dependable big brother that he always was. His fighting style is also noticeably different from the other Saints which helps him stand out. He’s all about outlasting the opponent and trading blows while Seiya tries to go for speed. Ikki just knows that the longer the fight goes on the more the advantage is on his side and it’s a smart strategy considering his abilities.

Overall, Saint Seiya is a franchise that keeps on expanding and you love to see it. I definitely won’t be forgetting this series anytime soon. Hopefully season 3 doesn’t take too much longer to come out but in the meantime you should definitely check this one out either way. It’s got a lot of top tier fights and a solid story so there is no reason to miss out on it. The show has no weaknesses which is rare to say about a show and the only sad thing is that it’s only 12 episodes. They cover a lot of ground here though. Hard to say what my next Saint Seiya review will be at this point but stay tuned as there is always something else on the horizon!

Overall 8/10

Saint Seiya: Legend of Sanctuary Review

It’s time to return to the world of Pegasus Seiya and friends. This CGI movie is certainly one that never got big but always sounded interesting. Whenever a movie tries to adapt an entire saga in one shot it gets my attention because that is incredibly ambitious. I don’t think many movies can effectively match an anime or manga because of how much you have to cut out. On the other hand the movie should in theory still be great because that means they will have to be squeezing in a ton of fights into a short amount of time and shouldn’t that be a recipe for a great movie? Well this one ends up being pretty good although I wouldn’t be able to call it great per say.

The movie starts off with mysterious beings battling it out in the skies. Two of them end up being shot down. Some local excavators come into contact with one of them who dies but not before showing them what happened through telepathy and then entrusting the baby Athena over to humanity. 16 years pass and she has been raised to be known as a lady named Saori. Her car driver starts to explain this to her but he was at least a day late because they are attacked by enemy saints sent by the Grand Pope. Fortunately Seiya and friends save her. They explain that Sanctuary has marked her as a fake and will be sending everyone to murder her so they have to head to Sanctuary and explain the situation quickly. This is a whole lot for Saori to take in all at once but it’s not like she has much of a choice in saying no to the adventure since the assassins will keep on coming. So the heroes head high into the sky in order to take down Sanctuary once and for all.

Now this probably does sound a bit crazy and that’s one of the things about doing this so fast. There’s a whole lot of convenience in the air like the Saints attacking right after the guy explained everything to Saori. Then you also have the power levels to worry about since the Bronze Saints shouldn’t be any match for the Gold Saints without a lot of dramatic power-ups in order to unlock their cosmos. Well the film has an interesting way of dealing with that which is to have some of the Gold Saints help out. This is actually a change that makes sense because some of the Gold Knights look way more reasonable as a result.

Virgo Shakka is a big one. Here he realizes that the Pope is evil pretty quickly and steps in to help the heroes. Mu and Taurus can also be counted on and so just like that you have 3 Gold Saints who are back to being heroes. Aphrodite definitely gets the shaft as he’s one shotted and Libra doesn’t get to appear while the rest mainly get their usual roles, even if they are really condensed. Of course the problem of Virgo Shakka being a good guy is that he doesn’t get to fight Ikki. So Ikki’s only role here is to destroy the archer saint and then to lose to the Shura saint. It was too bad that Phoenix couldn’t have looked better because in this version you would definitely assume that he is all talk at all times.

I still like what they were trying to do with Phoenix’s personality but you know that it only works because you knew him previously. To anyone going into this film fresh you would be wondering what to think of him. I would only put Seiya above him from the main cast but usually even Seiya would fall before this guy. Ikki is just way too awesome. Hyoga, Shiryu, and Andromeda look good here but of course there isn’t much time for their personalities. Shiryu is in a way one of the more comedic characters as he likes rambling and wearing his armor which the others poke fun at. Andromeda is not averse to fighting this time around so he gets his hits in and Hyoga is generally confident. He flat-out took down Camus with a draw where his opponent fell first and didn’t need any help which was impressive. Shiryu also took down his opponent.

Deathmask was an odd fellow in this version as we get a really random musical number during his fight. I was definitely not expecting that at all since it really came from out of nowhere. I guess the movie wanted to have some singing in here but it was still not quite what I had expected and the song went a bit longer than I thought. The movie made him appear to not be quite as evil since he said the faces were all people who challenged the temple as opposed to murdering civilians but even so he still comes across as super petty like when he tries to stab Shiryu in the back. So this guy just can’t win in any setting.

Seiya is of course the stand-out character. He’s always willing to put his very life on the line to save his friends and is the first to jump into battle. He never hesitates and continues to get even stronger. He uses a pretty cool attack to end his fight with as well. His determination is unmatched and he’s also just a fun guy who has a good time throughout the movie. So the adaption definitely did him justice.

In general the humor could be on the weaker side for the film but on the whole the writing was pretty solid. The story is good and a lot of the decisions the film made you could understand in terms of the pacing. It may have been an abridged version but in the end we did adapt the arc which is definitely impressive. The film cut out the fluff and even a lot of main events and focused on getting to the end. Not all of the choices were winning ones but I appreciate the boldness of it all. This was a movie that was not going to do anything halfheartedly.

In terms of animation, this one’s CGI so you shouldn’t expect it to look as good as the original anime but the colors are sharp here. I liked the style of CGI here better than in the CG show. The main drawback is that the armors don’t look quite as good. They remind me a lot of the Mortal Kombat suits but then mix in the colors that blend together like in Transformers. At least each character has a light that glows when they power up their armors but those aren’t color coded the way you would expect. Seiya gets red so Andromeda gets green and I think Shiryu’s may have been blue or purple. The colors don’t match the armors. Maybe this was to make them stand out more but it’s just a bit odd because the whole time you’re expecting the armor and the color to match.

The actual fights are on point and this is where it passes the show in that I felt like we got a lot more actual movement here. Each fight really showed off the speed of the Saints. It’s also all played in real time so there are no video game type cinematics for the super moves. The characters just use them. If the live action movie were to follow this template I think it would work fairly well. The Saints already have their training and meet up with Saori who would be the general audience in this case. It’s a fine script, you just need to touch things up and preferably keep this as a two part movie and you don’t have to sacrifice as much.

One thing I would cut out entirely is the climax though. As seems to be movie tradition we get a giant CG creature which shows up so he’s basically a damage sponge as everyone attacks. That just about never makes for a very thrilling fight scene. Only Fate Grand Order pulled that off for the TV show and even then it was because all of the heroes were so OP so it was intense to see a monster just take all of that and keep it going. Gemini Saga should still be the main villain and just have him be dominating the heroes the whole time until they start fusing powers. It would also make sense since he’s so strong.

This film has serious power level issues that can’t be ignored so you would probably want to clean that up as well. Maybe add some kind of rule that you absorb the cosmos of the opponents you defeat so they get stronger after each battle and begin to approach the gold saints. I think that would work as a quick (albeit a little convenient) solution to taking on Gold Saints so quickly. I did like how they remodeled the temples though. It’s clear that the movie took a lot of inspiration from Final Fantasy in terms of the layouts and character designs that worked really well.

The soundtrack could also use some work. A lot of the tunes sounded like something out of Tiger & Bunny which is a reasonable soundtrack but a bit more generic and public domain type than what you expect to see in Saint Seiya. We need more thrilling tunes for battles between Saints to really get you involved and so you can appreciate all of the hype feats. Also, the movie completely ditched the fake Athena plot which was odd. Where did she even go? I have to assume there was a scene cut out where the Pope destroyed her or something because otherwise it’s odd to just have a subplot vanish like that with no resolution. Based on the mask she was wearing it was likely Shaina or Marin but we need confirmation.

Overall, It was pretty cool to see what this arc would look like abridged. At the end of the day there is certainly no reason to watch it this way as opposed to the whole show but it’s worth checking out as a fun experiment. It’s too bad they couldn’t continue and try out the Poseidon arc next. The most important thing is if you know that you can’t possibly beat the original format, then you should absolutely re-tool things so that you deliver a different experience. The movie completely changed the context around the arc and altered a number of things which was smart to avoid a direct comparison. It could have still done things better but in the end this is a movie that I’d be able to re-watch because the replay value is there and it’s still a pretty good movie.

Overall 7/10

Knights of the Zodiac: Saint Seiya Review

Saint Seiya is one of those franchises that just keeps getting better and better with age. The fights are always incredible and the characters are timeless. It is really like the original DBZ from back in the day. When Netflix announced a CG series I would say the two reactions I had was “Not CG!!!!” and “Glad we’re getting Seiya back”. At the end of the day I would have preferred some top level animation for a fun reboot but I’ll still take this so we have more content in the franchise. The show actually changes quite a few things up which is why I would call it an alternate retelling. The names are different, some attacks aren’t translated and the government gets involved this time. I actually think the show should continue to change things rather than being a totally straight adaption. It allows the series to really duck the usual comparisons that it would get right away and helps it to stand on its own as a stand alone show. That said I would have liked it if the names had stayed the same since they take a lot of getting used to.

So the series starts off with a Gold Saint appearing in Seiya’s home and kidnapping his sister after taking down some government workers. Seiya and his sister Patricia have the ability of the cosmos which allows them to perform superhuman feats that should be next to impossible. Unfortunately that was not enough to take down a Gold Saint warrior. Those fighters are way too powerful. Years pass by and Seiya figures his sister is dead as he has been unable to get any leads on her or on the mysterious gold saint. That’s when he is taken in by Sienna and her grand father who explain the lore about powerful Saints which will save the goddess Athena from the evil gods. Seiya doesn’t buy any of this hogwash for a second but they explain that it is the only lead to his sister so he’s in. Basically he first has to earn a bronze armor of his own and then he must compete in a tournament with other Saints. The difficult part here is that there is a guy named Vander who wants the power of the Saints for himself to save the world. Seiya and friends will have to watch out for this guy or be crushed in the process.

The season is pretty quick so we don’t really get to the Gold Saints much as this is mainly pre arc. At times it can feel like the series is going a bit fast to tackle everything but it goes at a good speed for the fights which is the important part. I mentioned that there were some changes here so lets look at the biggest one. It’s the inclusion of Vander who believes he is trying to save the world from utter destruction. He’s one of those villains who has some good ideas but unfortunately the heroes don’t really get to talk to him much initially and the guy goes off the deep end very quickly so he can’t be reasoned with.

I understand why he is skeptical to just let the Saints handle everything because what if they lose? In fact the prophecy claims that the Saints will lose this time and Earth will be destroyed so maybe taking matters into his own hands wouldn’t be such a bad idea. In fact he has done quite well so far in building a whole army of Saints which can even overpower Bronze Knights. He did this by himself with a small group so imagine if he had a bunch of real resources at his disposal? The bio engineered Saints have a great supply of cosmos and incredible defenses. They can draw on more power from the generator as needed too. If only Vander could have played ball and tried to meet the Knights in the middle then Earth would have been in great shape for the fights to come. Instead Earth is more defenseless than ever before now.

I also liked seeing the government show up to get some fights although the show could have done better with the power levels. There is one moment where the government shows up in a helicopter/plane and the Saints start talking about how they’ve got no shot and are going to be obliterated..only to destroy it in one shot as always. I don’t care what guns they have on those planes, one good hit from a Saint will break it every time so there is nothing to be afraid of. The characters always seem to think that a vehicle is safe only for a Saint to break it in the next scene. You’re better off on the ground at that rate.

I’ll never be able to take the government or any other human faction seriously against the Saints because they are so outmatched but at the same time it is nice to see them. I do think with the world going into danger soon it makes sense to show the real life impacts f that and that’s something that the show did pretty well. I hope to see this continue more. Also as a side note, I like how Seiya grows actual wings when he powers up his cosmo like a real Pegasus. It is a fun visual that makes a lot of sense if you ask me.

The soundtrack here is pretty solid. The opening is a lot of fun and works as a great remix. It gets you pumped for what’s about to happen. Within the actual show the osts are good too but my only issue so far is that there isn’t a lot of variety. You’re going to be hearing the same songs playing quite a few times the more you go through the episodes. I think just adding a handful of other themes would have helped prevent it from feeling like they were cycling through the same tunes all the time.

As for the graphics, well I would say the CG here is pretty good. It definitely looks like a video game and what enhances this even further is how each character jumps into a pre set animation cycle whenever they go into their final smash. Remember playing Marvel vs Capcom and activating your final smash only for someone to activate theirs a second later so yours does no damage while they get all the hits in. That’s basically what happens here on a number of occasions. Where the animation struggles a bit is during the actual combat. Often times the projectile attacks will look cool but the show doesn’t have a whole lot of choreography for most of the fights. This results in faster battles than you would expect. Battles are very important in Saint Seiya so I’m hoping we can get this upgraded a bit in the second season. Having animation that looks good is really important but having great fights is equally critical.

As always Seiya is a great main character. He is determined to save his sister and fights off all kinds of odds in order to do so. He’s the kind of guy you want to have on your side because he will never give up and he will continue to fight to the last man. He always surpasses his limits and gets a lot of great character development even over the course of these first episodes. He was always willing to defend those in trouble but by the end he has really begun to understand what it means to be a knight of Athena. Can’t wait to see more of him soon.

Meanwhile Andromeda is a girl in this version which was a pretty big deal back in the day. Ultimately her personality isn’t much different though. Perhaps she is a little bolder but that’s about it. Although by default I actually prefer her to the usual version for that reason since Andromeda was never my favorite Saint. She gets her whole plot with Phoenix here but for the most part isn’t winning many big battles outside of that. I should mention right now that Seiya easily steals the show and gets the most to do here, the rest of the Saints aren’t able to do much of anything. I mean they’re strong and we see them do cool things during their debut appearances but Seiya gets almost all of the fights to himself. He’s the guy you call in to fight all the real enemies and it shows what a gap there is between him and everyone else.

Cygnus is extra confident and mean in this one which is nice. He’s got an edge to his fighting style and even comes close to murdering Athena at one point. He does mellow out super quickly though. I think it would have been more effective if he had lost to Phoenix or something which caused him to really change his ways. Alternately I would have just kept him as being really gruff for the whole season and think that would have worked well. Regardless he’s a quality character and a good addition to the team. Definitely someone you don’t want to mess with and he is supposed to be one of the more powerful Saints with how he could keep up with Dragon and Seiya while the others couldn’t.

Dragon has always been one of the most consistent Saints. He has a lot of power as well as great discipline which allows him to attack and defend at the right times. He has his unbreakable shield and unstoppable fist which makes for a tough combo. He gets his big fight here while blind which was always impressive and gave Seiya a good match. Dragon is probably the most honorable member of the Saints and is always determined to fight for justice. He doesn’t like cheap tricks or winning in any way that isn’t 100% fair so it’s easy to like him.

Then we have Phoenix as one of the big bosses for the show. He had a very intense backstory so you can really see how he cracked. The guy was put through the wringer back during his childhood and really never caught a break. The show doesn’t hold back with the ordeals he had to go through and so now he just isn’t the hero that he once was. Of course in part due to the hellish training he had to go through, Phoenix is considerably more powerful than the other bronze saints. It’s always impressive just how strong he is and he never ceases to amaze during the battles. His fights are always cool and he has the best looking attacks. His fire techniques don’t stop and he’s easy to root for even when he isn’t the most heroic out there. That’s just how he rolls.

Meanwhile Sienna makes for a good Athena. She has the most powerful warriors on the planet trying to murder her and yet she doesn’t live her life in fear. She’s doing her best to hang in there and continue to fight the good fight which is admirable. She even gets to use her magic powers to block opponent attacks at times. I still wish she could fight more since Hades and Poseidon have no problem shattering worlds and firing off big energy blasts. You can’t tell me that Athena doesn’t have that kind of power within her somewhere right? Like it wouldn’t make sense that she couldn’t fight because in theory she has more cosmo than almost every other character in the series.

This is where I have to throw in that as always Aiolos is the best Knight here. He understood that murdering a literal baby was wrong and made sure to save her life even though he paid the ultimate price for it. That’s absolutely what you have to do if you consider yourself to be a true hero. I don’t see any of the other Gold Saints doing that to be honest. The Bronze Saints would but you still would expect the Golds to be better. One change this series did to try and make this not feel as bad is there’s a prophecy that the pope made up which says that Athena will lose the war. So he tells them that they should just murder her and fight the war on their own. This plan doesn’t make much sense though because you are just making your side even weaker and will lose by a greater amount now. Cmon that’s just easy match but the Gold Saint have about as much integrity as your average pickpocket so they are easily taken in.

It’s good that we have future arcs where they look good because this is why they always make me just shake my head at how villainous and unreasonable they are the whole time. I’ll at least give Aiolia some props because he is able to listen to reason after Seiya messes him up a bit. He also did seem to save Seiya’s sister although he’s intentionally vague about the whole thing. He really should have at least tried to tell him something about her instead of being cryptic. Would have made things easier later on I would expect. The rest of the Gold Saints are total sellouts as you’d expect.

Same with the Silver Saints to be honest. They show up to get absolutely devastated the whole times. The one who can read minds was fun though because that’s always such a good ability. I always like seeing how the heroes can get around that. Do they have to shut their mind off or just move really quickly? To date Yusuke Urameshi had the absolute best way of dealing with that. Man that series has so many good moments and Seiya is on that level which is why this series is so great. Even the weaker villains like Misty are able to see through basic traps and give the heroes trouble. I do like that because even if they aren’t the nicest folks, they had to go through a lot of diligent training to get to silver rank so it makes sense that they could do this much.

Then you have Shaina who really wants to beat Seiya up. Ultimately her character arc feels a bit rushed as the show gets through her scenes quickly but she’s fun as always. I liked her rivalry with Seiya even if it ends up being one sided very quickly. Seiya just improves too fast for anyone to keep up with him. There is also Marin who trains Seiya but I never liked her quite as much. I think she could have been better at assisting Seiya and giving him backup when needed. She is always using trickery and just overthinking everything though. Just team up with him already and the heroes can have another fighter in their group.

Finally we get to two of the other bronze saints who get a role. First up is Cassios who has a lot of raw strength but that’s all that he has going for him. It’s naturally not going to be enough against someone like Seiya whose punches break the speed barrier and will eventually go faster than light. That’s not the kind of power that you can really hope to deal with easily. He just isn’t that kind of fighter. Then there is Unicorn who has his little rivalry with Seiya as always but unfortunately he doesn’t get a ton of screen time. See I would have liked to have seen him absolutely giving Seiya the work or one quick fight between them. I always thought he was a lot of fun at least but he’s more of a comic relief character here and doesn’t get a big role.

The season ends with a massive cliffhanger that gets you hyped up for what will be coming next. That’s always a good way to end things off so I’m pretty psyched for what will be happening soon. At the end of the day this was a very fun show with a lot of action and quality visuals. Perhaps it isn’t the remake that people had been waiting for but if it had to be CG then doing this alternate version was absolutely the way to go. It keeps you on your toes and takes some interesting approaches to modernizing the story. I just think they should keep doing that in the next seasons too as you then have to keep your guard up to see what will really be happening next.

Overall, Whether you call this series Knights of the Zodiac or Saint Seiya, it will always be a really big franchise. The names can be hard to keep track of so just think of them by the names of their cloth/armors since those never end up changing. The show has no real weak points which is the main reason why I rank it so highly. The story is very engaging and I never got bored while watching this. If anything it just ends way too quickly so you wish there were more episodes right off the bat. Still the series did continue and will keep on going so at least there is nothing to worry about there. It’s certainly one of the upsides about starting a series once it has already been going on for a while. I’d definitely recommend checking this one out, it’s pretty nostalgic to see Seiya’s first fights again and the show isn’t lost in the shadow of the original.

Overall 8/10

Saint Seiya: Meiou Iden – Dark Wing

A pretty solid take on the classic Saint Seiya mythos. I like that it’s a very different look at the series while already being a lot of fun. I’ve got high hopes for this series so we’ll see if it can live up to this. I’ll have a review up for the series as soon as it ends.

Overall 8/10

Saint Seiya: The Lost Canvas – Gaiden

The Lost Canvas is still one of the best manga titles of all time so reading into one of the spinoffs definitely sounds like fun. It’s off to a good start to far with each Saint getting a volume to themselves. It’s going to be tough to keep giving them big fights without making them look too weak though since there should be few who can challenge them. I’ll have review for it once the series is over.

Overall 8/10

Saint Seiya: Next Dimension

I definitely have my share of issues with this series like the power levels making no sense and formally making Lost Canvas not canon but it’s still a great Saint Seiya story. It’s got all the action and fights you could want after all. I’ll have a review up for this series when it finishes someday.

Overall 8/10

Saint Seiya Episode. G

The art is definitely odd for this one. It seems to be trying for a webtoon look but the character designs don’t work so well with everyone having huge eyes and the details getting a little messy. Still, the action is good and the story’s off to a fun start so we’ll see where it goes from here. I’ll have a review up for the series when I finish it.

Overall 7/10

Saint Seiya: The Lost Canvas Review

Saint Seiya is one of the most iconic action titles of all time and I even had it in my top 20 manga series of all time. It really is like the original Dragon Ball with its nonstop action and flashy attacks. I ended up reading this prequel a while back (About half a year ago at this point) but the review took a while as this is such a big series. The Lost Canvas is extremely impressive because it is able to really match the original series and even go beyond. I tend to waffle between the two of them quite a lot because they’re so close and each have their strengths. I figured I would leave my final decision until I finished this review as it would give me a chance to really reflect on the series and the original now that I finished it in both the manga and anime versions. Ultimately, the Lost Canvas does take the win but I’ll go into more detail later on.

The Lost Canvas has over 200 chapters and yet you could really say that the story only has one big arc. It’s probably more fair to say that it’s one overarching storyline with a lot of arcs in it though. This series covers the Holy War between Hades and Athena that is referenced in the main series. The Holy War occurs every 200 years so it truly feels endless on both sides. This futility is something the characters are fully aware of and yet there isn’t really much of anything that they can do about it. This is just the way that it has always been.

The Pegasus Saint to be born into this era is a kid named Tenma. He grew up with his childhood friends Alone and Sasha. The 3 of them led a normal life for a while but one day Sasha was proclaimed to be the new incarnation of Athena and taken away. Alone went crazy and became Hades as he ruthlessly murdered everyone in his path and Tenma ended up becoming a Bronze Saint. Now Tenma and Sasha feel like it is their specific duty to stop Alone since he ended up becoming the ultimate evil in the land. Can they really pull this off or is he too far gone?

There’s a lot to talk about here and a lot of characters to go through but first lets go through one of the aspects that really helps the series. That is the fact that it gives us a ton of lore that helps enhance the original story while also making this one stronger. For example, we find out that when you fight in Hades’ castle, your power is automatically cut to 1/10 of what it normally is. The original series referenced the characters being weaker but it wasn’t made explicit like how this one is.

We find out how Hypnos and Thanatos were sealed away for the main series and we also get to see Dohko and Shion team up here. We get to really see how the two became such good friends among the Gold Saints. Pandora gets a lot of development and one of the biggest things here is that the Gold Saints actually look really strong. In the main series you’re used to them getting schooled by every possible opponent so the Bronze Saints can save the day.

Well, this one plays out more like how you would expect. The Bronze Saints are effectively helpless for the entirety of the series until the climax and before then the Gold Saints have to pick up the slack. They’re shown to be the best in the business and all give the Specters a strong fight. So the catch is that we don’t meet a lot of notable Bronze Saints and the ones that we do see tend to be weak but it’s only fair since that’s what the Gold Saints had to deal with for a while.

We also see the inherent disadvantage that Athena’s forces have against Hades. For starters, Hades has the 108 Specters, 3 Generals, and 2 gods serving him. Athena has her 12 Gold Saints and that’s the extent of her reliable forces. I guess we can throw in Tenma and a small tribe that brings 2 fighters in but that’s really it. Then since Hades rules the Underworld, his fighters can resurrect infinitely which is another problem. That’s one of the big dilemmas that the heroes had to tackle early on since the war was really running out of control.

Compared to the first series where this was completely nonexistent, Lost Canvas does have a little fanservice once in a while. Nothing crazy but compared to the original series anything can feel notable. It’s rare enough where it’s never an issue though. The art is mainly used for the fight scenes which is great since the art here is quite high tier. You really feel the power behind all of the attacks and the designs are on point. Every battle is treated with a certain grandness to it so you know just how special the Gold Saints are. The amount of detail is also very impressive.

So lets talk about our hero Tenma. He doesn’t tend to win all of his fights the way that Seiya did, but Tenma’s a hard worker and does his best to claim victory at every turn. He is a strong fighter in his own right, there’s no doubt about that. He is also trying to save Alone the whole time without murdering him. It reminds me of the Naruto and Sasuke dynamic a lot. Tenma holds the series well as the lead and I don’t think you’ll have any issues with him. He’s just a very solid character.

As the main villain Alone is also very good. I actually preferred him to Hades here. The series even shows that they aren’t truly the same character even though they share the same body. There are times when Alone is pretending to be Hades but they have their distinct goals and wishes. Alone’s main weapon is an easel and a paint brush which is probably the craziest part of the series. Whatever he draws dies. So if he draws a portrait of you, then you will perish. It’s almost like the Deathnote but even more deadly since he doesn’t have to know your name.

The way his power works doesn’t always seem to be consistent though. For example, sometimes when he draws you, you will die immediately. Other times you do not so I assume he has the power to decide when the effect takes place. It’s a very ominous moment when he draws a picture of the Earth. this does tie into the title of the series very well though. For most of the series, Alone is building himself a giant portrait but the challenge is getting “real” colors which cannot be drawn so easily. You can probably imagine that blood is one of these “real” colors.

Now, while Tenma wants to save him, it’s safe to say that Alone is really insane though. The amount of people that he murders during his journeys is absolutely staggering. The guy just does not stop and takes out several villages and quite a lot of innocent bystanders. So whenever Tenma is trying to talk him down, you feel like it’s just too late for all of that at this point. Alone made his choice.

As for Hades himself, well he really doesn’t get to do much of anything here. The guy’s role is incredibly small so while he is very powerful, there’s not much to say about him. I would also argue that his willpower is not very great since Alone was able to overpower him the whole time. So much for his abilities right? At the end of the day Hades will always return so you should respect his power but I wouldn’t have minded the series going on a little longer so I could have really seen that.

Pandora’s role here is a lot bigger than in the original series and I was definitely a fan of hers. See, Pandora can actually fight and rather well at that. In this version she can fire off energy blasts and was able to take out many enemies on her own. Perhaps she isn’t a match for a Gold Saint but she is able to take out all other challengers. She is really attached to Hades and wants to protect him at all times but doesn’t take a passive role in this. She goes out to find and destroy any threats to him which is really what you should be doing as a bodyguard at all times. You definitely won’t be forgetting her by the end.

She does have a rather twisted first appearance where she takes out an animal though. I thought that was a rough start to the series in general as this happens in chapter 1. Fortunately the manga doesn’t tend to fall into that hole after that but you’d think that you want to start a series on a super high note. Whenever a chapter 1 is this rocky I feel like the editor needed to step in and do something. It’s always risky not to have a 5 star chapter 1 4 sure.

Shion was the Pope who got utterly wrecked in the first series so it’s nice to actually see him looking tough here. He crushes Worm in his first fight and he gets a particularly big moment in the climax against one of the gods. He is around the whole time though so there is no shortage of action for him. You get to even see him teaching Mu how to use his spells here so that bond’s established early on.

Sasha is the new Athena and I can tell you right away that she is a huge improvement over the main one. Sasha can actually fight and does do so as she goes up against Pandora at one point. While Sasha is still on the losing end most of the time, I appreciate the fact that she is actually fighting. I always thought it didn’t make sense how all of the gods are these super powerful fighters while Athena couldn’t do anything. It just didn’t add up and this version fixed that by making her a true fighter right out of the jump. The moment where she puts on the armor is a powerful moment as well. She wants to save Alone too and ends up being a very loyal companion all the way through.

Dohko is the first Gold Saint to show up (He wastes no time since he’s beating up Specters as early as chapter 2 with the war already starting. I guess it’s more of a cold war at that point since Hades and Athena have not directly acted but you can tell where it’s all going) and he ends up really being the first mentor that Tenma gets. He’s always around with some wise words and can fight really well. I like Dohko’s absolute confidence and it’s something that we got to see a bit of in the gold saints spinoff. Here he is in his young form the whole time of course and it’s crazy what a better character he is when he’s not being Shiryu’s mentor.

Yuzuriha is the member of the third party faction that I mentioned earlier. It is always interesting to add another group in and personally I tend to love the idea. Her group isn’t strong enough to be a threat to the villains but they do come in handy when it comes to the supernatural elements like bringing people back to life. She can also fight well on par with a Silver Saint which is handy here. Her role is rather large as a supporting character. Often times she is with Unicorn who also gets a bigger role than usual here. Unfortunately he can’t usually contribute to the fights too well but he always has Tenma’s back and that means a lot on its own. He really takes it hard when Tenma is murdered the first time.

Albafica is the first Gold Saint to have a serious fight with one of the judges and he does well in the role. His poison abilities are really handy even if they are a double edged blade to himself. That means he has to handle himself with great care at all times. To also be protecting a whole town is a testament to his skill as a Gold Saint. He may not have gotten to appear a whole lot but he certainly left an impression.

Asmita was another big hero to show up. I wasn’t crazy about his role considering his power though. I feel like he could have helped out so much more in the fights if he had chosen to just keep on going. His role was still pivotal in terms of sealing the enemy’s resurrections but with his power level I just wanted him to fight more. He helps spur Tenma into action and gets a suitable backstory and all. I guess I have to be satisfied about that.

Aldebaran has the same name as the guy from the first series but it’s definitely a different person. Perhaps it’s part of his Taurus constellation and he just chose not to give his name out. Either way I thought he was a big improvement over the main version. For starters, he does actually appear to be one of the strongest of the Gold Saints which is fitting with his being a power type. I always thought it didn’t make a lot of sense that he is a power type but was treated like fodder the whole time. Here he gets to fight off against the strongest of the 3 judges, at least in my opinion after seeing them all fight. He also does extremely well in the fight and I like his competitive spirit. He ended up being one of the more memorable Gold Saints.

Sisyphus gets a bigger role towards the end of the series. From the start we know that he is one of the stronger Saints as he is able to overcome Hades’ intimidating presence while the other Gold Saints were take out right away. It would seem that the one with the bow and arrow is always quite strong in Saint Seiya. I thought he was a solid character although he was easily manipulated and had some confidence issues. Sisyphus may not stand out as much as some of the other Gold Saints but he is certainly someone that you would want to have watching your back.

Cancer wasn’t my favorite Gold Saint initially, I found him to be a little weak but also super unreasonable. At one point he captures Tenma so the hero can’t escape to go and train. I never like when the heroes lock up their own allies, it feels counterintuitive. Fortunately Hades was locked up by his troops at the same time so that ended up well enough. I gained some respect for Cancer when he went to the villain base to attack Thanatos though. I thought that was a good moment to show that he feared nobody and was a very emotional kind of fighter.

The Pope also got to have his fight around this point. His spells are handy which makes u for his not having a whole lot of super abilities. I don’t think he can hold his own as well as some of the other fighters but in the end he did help out so that’s what counts. He also has his brother from the tribe who helps him train as well and the two make for good partners.

El Cid shows up to get some action but in a way you feel bad for him. He has to deal with villains who really come out of the blue as the “Dream gods” who fight him on different realms. I thought the whole thing just felt like it was thrown together at the last moment. It was also a complete counter to his legendary sword. He gets back up and keeps on fighting but he definitely had a lot to deal with right out of the gate. Ultimately it was a good way to show his determination as he had to fight many battles in a row.

This also meant that poor Tenma had to deal with more ghosts from his past again so in a way we got that arc twice. While the dream gods felt random, they were still decent enough for the most part. Morpheus was the most impressive and did well against Tenma. All 4 were strong though and they even had a fusion mode which was as strong as you’d suspect.

Kardia is the Scorpio Gold Saint of this era and he’s fun. He does have a bad habit of toying with weaker opponents while he looks for strong ones though. You’d think this would be beneath him as a Gold Saint but I suppose he doesn’t have that level of honor. That’s what keeps him from being one of the all time greats here. I like his burning passion though and his fight in the Poseidon arc is good.

Meanwhile Degel does well in his battle. It’s a little harder to get invested in his fight since he’s battling with someone who isn’t super interesting. Degel does do well in the fight though and works well enough as one of the last Gold Saints to show up for action. There’s only so much time for everyone to get involved with so many fighters on the field after all.

Gemini also makes an appearance late into the series and his first fight is later still. He does end up having a very big role though. The whole Gemini angle is always something that means he will be dealing with his own issues during the fight but he is ultimately able to push past them. I wouldn’t say he’s as good as Gemini Saga but he contributes a lot and is as powerful as you would expect.

Then you’ve got Leo. He’s the youngest Gold Saint and has a lot of passion in each of his blows. He ended up being one of my favorites by the end. He did well in guarding the ship and had a lot of responsibility for one so young. The series is quick to show that he’s a true prodigy. That can often be a red flag for a fighter this deep into the war but regardless, I think you’ll be invested in his character right off the bat.

Bennu is easily my favorite villain in the series and I would go as far as to say he was my favorite character in general. The guy reminds me of Garou in One Punch with how he would get stronger after every fight. Bennu starts out as a match for Gold Saints right out of the gate and only goes higher from there. He has a strict honor code which I like to see in a villain. His dark fire abilities are also very impressive. The guy isn’t a yes man and follows his own ambitions to the end. Any scene/fight with him was always guaranteed to be a blast.

Niobe may appear whiny from his design and how you know him in the original series but he actually doesn’t look all that bad here. He almost wins his first fight and has a natural counter to a Gold Saint’s ability. “Almost” may not count for much in a fight but it was still a good look. Then you have Minos who really got to go all out as one of the 3 Judges. His ability to move people against their will like a puppet is certainly incredibly dangerous. It has to be one of the more frustrating skills to go up against as well. Albafica was a really good match-up for the heroes because of his poisons. Otherwise this could have been a really tough fighter to bring down.

Cat Sith was a reasonably strong Specter. While he may not stand out as much as some of the other high ranking fighters, he got his own fight against Tenma which automatically means he got more of a role than most. I would have liked to have seen more out of him but he had a good design and was a solid fighter so in the end I can’t ask for much more than that. He can be rather subservient to Pandora out of fear at times but seeing as how Pandora brutally beats and murders her opponents you can see how that would happen.

Rhadamanthys is another one of the Judges to fight and he does really well. He reminds me of Bennu with his absolute confidence and dark element attacks. I would give the other guy the edge but Rhadamanthys is close and certainly not someone to scoff at. When he enters the arena, the whole dynamic changes. He is that one guy that absolutely nobody wants to face off against. His battle with Scorpio was a lot of fun. I’m not crazy about his whole servitude angle later on though. He allows Pandora to completely humiliate him because he says that doing anything else would be traitorous but there’s limits to this.

I felt bad for his subordinate Valentine who was trying to stand up for his honor. You can’t stand up for someone who refuses to defend themself though. To an extent it will end up being futile and that’s exactly what happens here. He gets credit for not backing down though. Additionally, this was how we got Pandora’s biggest fight in the series so that was a blast.

Then you have Unity but he’s a villain that I don’t like. One of those petty villains with a short sighted goal that won’t make anybody happy. Sure, he is powerful but that’s not enough to make him a really solid villain. At least that was definitely not the case for me. He’s more interesting because of the mini arc he’s in and how this all relates to Poseidon but that’s all I can say for him.

Veronica is one of the more twisted specters from the Underworld and she really doesn’t mind using any underhanded tricks to get the upper hand. As a villain with no honor code, you can bet that I wasn’t much of a fan of hers. I much prefer villains who just get out into the open and start landing attacks. That’s the best way and if you can’t win like that then you just take the loss.

Violate is the first big villain to arrive during the boat arc and she’s a fun specter. She is one of the highest ranking members and can really fight quite savagely. Her battle with Leo was excellent and she remained a loyal ally to Aiacos right through to the end. Aiacos liked to talk about bonds and even he had to recognize hers by the end. The two of them had a good dynamic going. Not enough where you were rooting for them over the heroes or anything like that but it was nice to see. Both of these villains were memorable and helped make the boat arc a complete success.

Sphinx is one of those villains who tries to act fair and just but naturally there is a plot twist about him cheating. A villain like that definitely takes a big hit with me because I tend to like my villains to have a bit more honor. If you’re going to cheat then do it boldly and right in front of the heroes to show that you mean business. Don’t slink around or anything like that.

Gemini Aspros is one of the villains who shows up near the end and he’s definitely an intense fighter to have to go up against. His abilities are impressive. The guy ultimately couldn’t defeat his own inner ambitions which means that his willpower is rather weak but at the end of the day he had a decent character arc. Too bad he just couldn’t be stronger a little sooner. That could have turned the whole war upside down.

Mephistopheles is another boss to show up at the end and he almost feels like he’s from a completely different series. Hie design just doesn’t really feel like a Saint Seiya character, perhaps it is because of the costume he uses. He does not wear a Saint’s armor or anything like that. I remember being really surprised when he showed up. I didn’t like the guy though. I know they’re going for the big troll who’s the mastermind behind everything angle but I just don’t think he needed to be here. I’m also confident that Hades or Tenma would have quickly crushed him if the guy wasn’t always running around.

Partita also shows up as another twisted fighter to face off against Tenma. Sure, she does have a super convoluted plot about why she is acting this way but honestly it didn’t help her case for me. She really put Tenma through a ton of grief and pain both physical and mental. There was no excuse ready for this. While she is still a lot better than Mephistopheles, I was not able to like her by the end. I just see Partita as a full villain all the way.

Thanatos and Hypnos certainly get their time to shine as well. As always those two look quite powerful here. As lesser gods, they still have more power than any of the Judges and even more than a standard Gold Saint. Fighting them always proves to be quite the hassle. It’s impressive that Hades got them on the payroll considering you’d think that they would want to do their own thing. I mean, to an extent they do manipulate him regardless but in their own way they think they’re being really loyal.

So yeah there’s a lot to like here and it’s really a terrific cast of characters. At worst you may just get annoyed seeing Tenma and the Bronze Saints lose so often. It does make sense with how the Bronze Saints are supposed to be the weakest though. In a way the power levels make more sense here as a result. Aside from Tenma who is able to shatter his limits by the end, each rank is accurate. A Silver Saint can never beat a Gold Saint and a Bronze can never beat a Silver. That’s just the way that it is and whoever evaluates the power within Athena’s circles is better at his job here.

In general I do think the power levels are really solid here as well. The Gold Saints are far more powerful than any ordinary Specter (They seem to be the equivalent of a high bronze or low silver) but the 3 Generals are each as strong as a Gold Saint if not a bit stronger. Than the 2 gods are more powerful than any Gold Saint so you need 2-3 to take them on. Naturally at the top, Hades is even more powerful. It’s a very straight forward power level system which allows for a bit of flexibility for some fighters who keep on getting stronger. Tenma of the heroes and Bennu of the villains are strong examples of this. They continue to rise up the ranks as the series progresses until they are near the very top.

So lets talk a bit about Alone’s goal now. It’s a very classic goal you see a lot of villains have nowadays. Basically he thinks this endless cycle of violence and knights destroying each other needs to end. So his goal is to destroy everyone completely to the point where they are taken out of this cycle. It’s the classic “Death is Peace” kind of argument that the villains like to throw around. Now, this is usually one of those pretty insane ramblings that you ignore but in the context of the Saint Seiya world it’s a little interesting. I go more into depth on this later on in the review but basically when you die you get tormented for all of eternity in most cases. If you are a hero then you are absolutely doomed and if you were an evil villain then you might get some peace. This is because the villains own the world after death.

So Alone knows first hand that there is no peace. If he can successfully dismantle this system, then perhaps everyone could finally rest. Since the Underworld is tangible, he could try destroying that but he needs to destroy everything at once. I don’t recall if he gave a specific reason why he couldn’t just destroy the Underworld first. I think this goes back into his being a villain. He wants everyone to be absolutely dead so if he destroys the Underworld first then Athena’s forces could wipe him out. So he has to take out both sides to end the conflict. Still a villainous goal of course but I would have loved to have seen Athena or one of the heroes figure out a way to take out the Underworld for good. If you ensure that death is permanent without destroying anyone, then that seems like a fair compromise. You still get to live your life as well as possible and don’t have to worry about the villains messing with you after death. Because as this series shows repeatedly, they absolutely don’t mind doing so.

Even though the arcs are all related to the big war, I’ll quickly break down some of what I would consider to be the mini arcs. First you have the trip to Italy which does not go well as Tenma is murdered and Alone takes everyone out. It was the first big loss for the Gold Saints and the various fighters all around. It was a good way to establish Alone as a true threat though. It’s so short that even calling it a mini arc may be generous but either way it made for a good time. It’s what really kicks off the war since we have our first casualties.

After that you have the mini arc where Tenma needed to be resurrected. He really got to experience the Underworld very quickly didn’t he? It’s a good adventure here and we meet the next Specter known as Fedor who was reasonably tough. Granted, he was fighting some of the weaker fighters there but it still made for a good entrance fight as the heroes went deeper into the Underworld to complete their quest. While not as over the top exciting as the future arcs, we were still slowly building things up so it made sense.

Now the next event was what really marked the turning point for Lost Canvas as an elite title. Hades sends the first judge over to take down Athena so Minos shows up along with a bunch of minions. The first battle is against Albafica, the first Gold Saint. Technically his temple isn’t the first one but he went down early to prevent them from going any further. The battle is epic and lots of nonstop action. It’s why I can’t state enough how endless the battles are here. It really is a big part of what makes the series so fun. You’re never done with the action and it’s a very dramatic arc as well as the fight comes down to the wire. Really an all star fight.

After that, we get the big fight with Bennu and Aldebaran as the next big battle. This was a sizable encounter which was the next really cool fight. It was the first full showing that Bennu was not just some mindless Specter like most of the others who craved battle above all else. No, he actually had drive and determination which made the fight even better. It was a really good way to also raise the stakes right away.

From there we had the fun meetup where Hades attacked the palace and he has his big meetup with Alone. Lots of cool things happen there and Aldebaran even gets to fight some more challengers later on but the next big event was the forest of illusions. It’s always a classic plot to have the lead have to confront the memories of his dead friends. In this case it’s particularly disturbing for the characters because the villains rule the Underworld. So here’s the dark twist in the Saint Seiya verse. When you die, you go to the underworld. There is no other place, your soul is sent down there for Hades to mess with.

If you’re really lucky, then you go to Elysium which is a fairly nice place, but again it is still under the rule of Hades. So if you were helpful to the heroes or did anything that attracted his attention, then you’re basically doomed. I thought this was a really sad moment even more so than usual because that means the heroes have no hope in this verse. When you die, the villains capture you. There’s no way to live forever so your only hope is for your opponent to have a soul destroying attack so that you are obliterated from reality. I feel like the heroes should have a realm of the dead so that they can save the innocents. Since they don’t, I’d say the responsibility falls on Athena since she should have wiped Hades and the Underworld out long ago. So this arc really gives you a lot to think about. This concept is revisited near the end of the series to really confirm this and how hopeless the whole situation is.

After some more battles the heroes would launch their next big offensive on Hades’ castle. Of course the tough part there is that it weakens all Saints so the pope decided to go on his own to lower those defenses first. A pretty risky move for sure and I feel like they should have just all attacked. I get that they’d be weakened but surely the odds are better than just the Pope going right? At least it was the best display he’s ever had as the guy took on tons of opponents. Now that was super impressive and he lived up to the hype. The siege doesn’t last very long though as the heroes were out of their depth again. This is certainly one war where the heroes don’t win every battle.

We then split to two different plots. In one of them, Tenma gets trained by the Gemini Saint while in the other one the two Gold Saints Degel and Kardia head over to Poseidon’s area to see if they can get some help or at least a weapon with which to fight Hades. I thought this was a good idea, why not try to make an alliance at this point right? Naturally Hades sent his own men there to cause some trouble so it wouldn’t be as easy as all of that. Poseidon’s an interesting wild card so it makes sense that each side is super interested. The way it plays out is also interesting. I would say it doesn’t make Poseidon look great but the whole reincarnation angle makes things tough for everyone in these things.

After that is the big boat arc where the heroes have to construct the boat so that they can reach Hades and the Lost Canvas. Of course that means that the villains want to get over there and stop them by any means necessary. This makes for a really solid arc with lots of battles and of course Hades steps in himself. That guy absolutely does not mind entering battles on the front lines, he seems to rather enjoy doing so if anything. I think that’s part of what gives the villains an edge in this series, having your leader fight alongside you is a big moral boost.

Finally that leads to another invasion of Hades’ castle but this time it’s the final one. The series isn’t afraid to add in a bunch of new elements at the very end of the series though. Were you wondering about Tenma’s parents? No? Well that makes sense since we saw Tenma at the orphanage but it turns out that he did have parents and they were both incredibly powerful fighters back in the day who are now on the side of evil. I thought this was super random personally but hey, it means we get more fight scenes which is always a plus. Naturally the climax is really crazy with a ton of action at all times which is good. That’s how you want to end the series.

The series really has a 7 Samurai kind of feel to it. One by one the Gold Saints continue to be bumped off during the war so you know that even if the heroes win, it will be at a huge cost. These wars certainly go all out every 200 years and you can also see why the characters would be utterly sick of them by this point. Most of the players change and yet they know about the history really well. For characters like Athena and Hades, it must feel repetitive even if they think each time will be the last one.

One thing I also liked about the war here is that it feels more like a war than in the classic version. What I mean by that is you have battles going on at different fronts with Athena and Alone (Acting as Hades) making moves directly. For example, at one point Alone is tired of waiting so he breaks into Athena’s domain on his own to fight against the Gold Saints and take her down. Later on you also have Athena taking the fight to him. Since Athena isn’t just kidnapped for the whole arc this time, it makes the war a little more strategic as they both have to make their moves to take the other out while protecting their domains. Also, seeing Hades actually confront the Gold Saints and bend them to his power helped to establish him as a big threat here.

So finally, why does this one beat the original Saint Seiya. Well, lets look at this area by area. Lost Canvas easily wins in terms of artwork, I don’t think many would debate that. There’s a world of difference between the two series. The OG has better Bronze Saints and I would say Seiya beats Tenma as a main character. This series has better Gold Saints who aren’t constantly betraying Athena and the heroes. The villains are also better in this one although it’s close. As a whole the Lost Canvass wins in the character cast.

I’d also say the plot is more engaging. With a war going on throughout the whole series, there is no time for breaks. While the original also had a lot of nonstop battles, this one took it to the next level. There are a ton of twists and turns around every corner too which keeps you off balance. Now, not every plot twist needs to be here to be honest like Mephistopheles and his whole plan. (His final twist was really good though) Others were a blast though like one that plays out like Aizen’s big plan from Bleach. Lets just say that there was more than one puppet master running around in the shadows. Finally, I’d say that this one was able to take the hype to the next level. It was able to do everything the original did in the Hades arc and then some. The first series had 3 gods fighting it out in the final arc, this one had close to 10. The characters had to keep on surpassing their limits because of how powerful the villains are. We had several factions by the end so it was hard to predict exactly what would happen.

Hades’ army also just looks more impressive. In the original they had the help of many Gold Saints and still couldn’t do much. Here they had many more powerful fighters which helped to make this an even war. I’d also say the massive upgrades to Athena, Pandora, and Alone help to put this ahead too. So, Lost Canvas just wins in more areas than it doesn’t. This is still a pretty close battle, I would say they’re absolutely still in the same league and everything. I would just have to lean towards The Lost Canvas for the win here and with the plot being a lot more dynamic and less formulaic, it also has more replay value as an added bonus.

Overall, Saint Seiya: The Lost Canvas is a spectacular title. Athena and Alone/Hades were big improvements in this version and I was also glad to see Pandora get a big role. Just look at the picture I put right above this paragraph. Could you have imagined Athena fighting on the front lines with the others before now? It’s really got top tier action at all points and the character roster is very solid. The art is excellent as well. You can’t go wrong with this one and you’ll be blasting through it at high speeds from start to finish. It sets a high bar for the other Saint Seiya spinoffs and I don’t think they will be able to match up but I look forward to seeing the attempt. Whether you read this after the original series or before it, you’ll really have a great time here. It’s no wonder that this Holy War is referenced a lot because it ended up being extremely important and this is really the peak of Saint Seiya.

Overall 9/10

Saint Seiya: Soul of Gold Review

It’s definitely good to have the Gold Saints back in action. They mostly just got wrecked a lot in the original series although some god to have their moment to shine in the Hades arc. This time they have a whole show to themselves where they can really get to cut loose and it works really well. The show can be rather formulaic so you know what to expect but it ends up being a great show from start to finish.

The show starts with Aiolia being mysteriously revived over in Asgard. He’s unsure of how this could have happened as he is sure that he died. Well, no matter. Aiolia has to head over to Hades to back up the bronze saints but he is asked by Lyfia to stay and save Asgard. The place has become very corrupt as the God Warriors serve Andreas now. Hilda is sick and unable to take control and Odin is sleeping as usual. If something isn’t done quickly, all of Asgard will fall as the villains raise up the world tree.

Usually Aiolia could just end this in an instant but it won’t be so easy this time. For starters, the World Tree absorbs the energy of the Gold Saints so their abilities are heavily nerfed. Making things even worse is that the God Warrior have their abilities amplified at the same time so what ends up happening is a double disadvantage. On the bright side, the rest of the Gold Saints have been resurrected as well. Fighting as a team has never been their strong suit but perhaps Aiolia can rally the group to save Asgard. Then they will head over to help Seiya and friends.

I may as well say now that they don’t get to help Seiya and friends but you probably guessed that since it would have completely changed the timeline. That could be fun in a way as a massive plot twist but keeping things separate isn’t a bad idea. It’s fun to just see the Gold Saints hanging out and we get more of their personalities here since there’s some down time. In the main series you certainly didn’t have time to see the Gold Saints just hang out and grab a drink. I would say the first part of the show is more of a creature of the week format as they beat up on a poor God Warrior with their own God armor and then end up fainting. Rinse and repeat until we get more structure.

It’s not a bad set up though and will remind you of the classic Saint Seiya structure. At no point would I say this show gets close to the original but it still works well. The first reason for this is since this is an original story, you don’t know how it’s really going to play out. After seeing the classic adventures in a few variations, it’s fun to see a brand new ordeal here. Even the tone and feel is a bit different since the main characters are the big shots here and not the Bronze Saints surpassing their limits all the time. We’ve got a bit of a mystery subplot with how Lyfia will randomly stare at the Saints once in a while with a dangerous look on her face and of course the tensions of Saints acting in another jurisdiction.

The animation isn’t great here but it works well enough. They put in some extra effort for the climax as well. I still wish we can get a truly top notch Saint Seiya animation at some point though. Some of the movies look great and take the lead there but I’m talking about a Studio Pierrot or Ufotable kind of production. With how flashy all of the Saint designs are it would be really easy to make the fights look amazing. Regardless, it works well enough.

As for the soundtrack, I wouldn’t say there are any real standout themes here. The music all feels almost free domain at times. The opening has a very good opening beat but then it fades from there. Also, there are a ton of sound effects in the song that make it hard to just listen to casually. I think they could have done better on this front. There are a few decent themes scattered within but I wouldn’t call this a very good soundtrack.

Before I jump into the characters part, I also have to give the series credit for directly referencing the old Asgard arc from the show. As an anime exclusive arc I’m sure they may have been tempted to ignore it but that arc was quite solid so I’m glad that it was still relevant. We learn about how these new God Warriors came into place and it makes sense since the Bronze Saints didn’t hold back against the last ones. It also reminds you that these guys would be easily dispatched if not for the tree messing up with the balance the whole time. Take that away and things would be different.

All right so Aiolia is the main character here and he makes sense as the pick. He’s easily the character who is the closest to being like one of the original characters. He is a hero who does the right thing and never wavers. That’s something that most of the other Gold Saints could learn a thing or two about. Aiolia also tends to lose quite a few fights here as a result but by exploding his cosmos he is usually able to win in round 2 or make a last second comeback. While most of the Saints seem fixated on doing whatever they want or protecting Athena, Aiolia seems to actually believe in justice which is important.

He was always one of my favorite Gold Saints and he certainly looks good here. We also get to see Aiolia’s older brother Aiolos. I was surprised that he was resurrected since he died so long ago but I was definitely happy to see him. He’s as tough as you’ll remember from back in the day and he gets a good role here. It’s not a particularly big role until the end so you have to wait, but it’s worth it. It’s safe to say that he’ll always be the best Gold Saint. Not saying he’s the strongest but he’s the coolest.

I never cared for Mu much. Usually he prefers to just watch all of the fights instead of doing anything which is annoying in itself. Then he went full on traitor in the Hades arc and kept on sinking and sinking. Well, in this show he’s not bad. He still seems a bit weaker than the other Gold Saints but the guy is more of a defensive fighter so that makes sense. When your main technique is a big shield…it’s inevitable that somebody’s going to break it. That’s how these things always go. Mu does his detective work in the show and helps find the weakness to the tree though.

Usually Dohko is in the same camp as Mu in terms of just watching everything the whole time but he gets a little more involved here. As one of the more powerful Gold Saints I expected him to do more than what he did. He’s still around for some battles though. Then there’s Aldebaran who is still the strong man of the group but his fighting style is what really lets him down most of the time. The guy always crosses his arms as his fighting stance which doesn’t work. I mean his big attack is then unfolding his arms with a great push. What kind of combo is that?

Aldebaran badly needs some new material. I think you can only get away with that if you’re one of the stronger Gold Saints and it seems like this guy would get smoked by most of the others. Scorpio Milo is one of the Gold Saints who looks really solid the whole time. He just wants a good fight and is eager to fight the villains. He also takes Camus’ betrayal very seriously and just wants to beat the guy up. He ended up being a lot more engaging than I expected him to be.

Unfortunately Camus is the perfect contrast here as that guy looks awful. It wasn’t enough for him to be a traitor once, he has to do it again? His whole character here is that he’s with the Gold Saints. Yeah, they explain why but the reason is as shallow as it gets and I don’t buy into it being reasonable. So I was rooting for the Gold Saints to absolutely devastate this guy in the fights. Just get him out of there asap. There was no coming back from this.

Shura is one of the Gold Saints who doesn’t get much of a role. With 13 episodes and 12 Saints it makes sense that some wouldn’t get much of a role. Especially when some Saints get a considerable role so there is even less time for the others. Shura gets to prove that his sword is the best though. Aprodite gets the smallest role but to help make up for it, the writers made sure that his moment really counted at the end. So in a way you could say that Aphrodite ended up being one of the more crucial pieces in the whole show.

Deathmask gets an entire character arc here. He starts off as a very annoying guy who refuses to hel and just gets in the way the whole time. Definitely the kind of character that will make you shake your head. Fortunately after that he starts his journey of recovery although it takes him a long enough time that things get a bit tragic for him. By the end he’s learned what it means to be a hero but it sure takes him a long time. He was still one of my least favorite characters by the end of it. He’s lucky that Aiolia didn’t knock him out when they first met.

Speaking of which, the show continues the urban legend about how a fight between Golden Saints will take 100 days or something like that. It’s a great story but we’ve seen many Gold Saint battles at this point and they’re still over rather quickly. 100 days would really imply that their powers and abilities are exactly equal but this just isn’t the case. I think the Saints tend to overestimate themselves a bit which ultimately ends up coming back to bite them. I do like the bravado though.

Now we come to the big 2 Saints who get a lot of hype in the show. First up is Gemini Saga and whenever he shows up all of the villains start to panic. I like that he is given this much respect because he has definitely earned it. Gemini Saga was the highest ranking Saint who was even in line to become the Pope after all. (Aiolos was the #1 choice though) While there is always a fun debate to be had on whether Virgo Shaka is stronger, either way they are near the top. Even while nerfed Gemini Saga was able to hold his own against various opponents here. He always has a very cool demeanor to him and I was glad that he still had that presence here.

Finally you have Virgo Shaka who really did look quite good here. He was even portrayed as a bit of a mastermind and really came through when the team needed him. His attacks have the most variety to them and since he is the man closest to god in this verse, he is able to even handle the various demi gods and actual gods that show up in this show. Ultimately he still isn’t unbeatable or anything but when he shows up you can expect that the villains are going to have a tough time.

Andreas is the main villain of the series and he’s your classic evil dictator. The guy acts really nice the whole time but he is tricking people to be used in live experiments and only cares about conquering the world. His nice personality is all an act but unfortunately one that works well. Everyone trusts the guy and the sad irony is he probably could have become the King legitimately with how people liked the guy. I guess he would never settle for being second fiddle to Odin though. So Andreas is okay but I wouldn’t say he is super memorable.

Loki makes for a much more interesting villain and that guy is also a lot more powerful. As another true god in the Seiya verse, you would expect him to be strong too. Perhaps not as strong as Hades, Poseidon, Zeus, Athena, and Odin as the 5 great gods here but he would be about as strong as Hades’ two right hand men. Of course we canm’t take this standing too seriously as Athena always looks super weak and Odin can’t do anything for himself. Loki also appears to be stronger than Hypnos and Thanatos, that or Seiya and the gang are just that good.

Either way you should be satisfied with how Loki looks. He shows up and starts to dominate right out of the gate. His abilities are the real deal and the fight actually goes on for quite a while. He’s got the kind of confidence you would expect from such a villain too. On the hero side we don’t have any gods to aid the heroes but we do have the heroine Lyfia who is always around for moral support. There are quite a few twists about her seemingly evil mode. For her normal state though, she’s nice enough. The show starts to mess around with a possible romance involving her but never really goes through with it so we can write this off as normal admiration.

She certainly owes the heroes a lot for saving her people and the people of Asgard owe her even more since nobody was helping. Lyfia was really the only person trying to stop the evil in the kingdom which paints a very bad light on the rest of these guys. She can’t really fight but considering that everyone here’s an easy planet buster it’s not like she should be expected to battle. Just summoning everyone here was enough.

Frodi is the main God Warrior here and while that means he’s a big sucker who bought into all of the villain plans, at least he means well. I don’t usually have a lot of patience for these guys who are just following the rules and don’t think about the truth. I should think the whole thing is pretty obvious when Hilda is “sick” and Lyfia is trying to help take down Asgard’s ruler. Shouldn’t it make you think a bit if the royal family isn’t happy with what’s going on? I would have just liked this guy to try thinking ahead a bit more. In terms of ability and design though this guy was fun.

Fafner is the worst member. Every villain group tends to have that one creep and that’s Fafner in this case. The guy likes to run human experiments to make the villain tech work better. He uses people to power up the tree and to increase his own energy. The guy can’t fight nearly as well as the others and usually gets taken down quickly but any scene with this guy is usually annoying.

Heracles is the power member of the villains but I didn’t find him to be very impressive personally. He gets wrecked by Aldebaran really early on and never came back from that. He is one of the only God Warriors to not get any kind of convincing win. The guy talks a big game that he just can’t back up and doesn’t have many long range options. When you’re weaker than the others and are the “power hitter” of the group then that’s a problem.

Surtr is the guy who guilt trips Camus the whole time but I don’t even blame him for that. That’s all on Camus for being a chump here. In battle Surtr is decent. He prefers not to just jump into battle and relies on strategy but that shouldn’t be mistaken for being weak. He just fights in a smart way but if he has to get into the ring personally then he will. This is why the guy’s such a big threat. I liked him well enough and he was one of the better members of the group.

Another solid member was Sigmund and this guy has more of an honor code than the others which is always appreciated. This guy wants to win on his own merits and as a reward of sorts he gets to fight Gemini Saga. I liked this guy through and through. Of course he is still on the wrong side of things and didn’t think any of this through but at least he isn’t using any cheap tricks and that goes a long way.

Baldr is the last big member of the group and he’s the one who became an actual immortal which makes him very dangerous. His fight against Virgo Shaka is one of the best parts in the whole series as a result. Both of these guys are a lot stronger than the average fighter and you can feel it in each of their moves. They can counter any attack thrown their way which leads to a lot of back and forth. I liked Baldr quite a bit and he has a fairly emotional backstory. I thought it was sadder than most of the others at least.

So the show has a very solid cast of heroes and villains which always goes a long way to making the show great as well. As you can probably guess, there is a lot of nonstop action here as well. The battles never really end as each episode will throw something at you. Then the climax is a bunch of other battles in a row before we get the big team up. Seeing the Gold Saints team up is also a very nice moment. Soul of Gold did well to take the premise of having the Gold Saints in the front lines and making the most of it. It’s why this works so well as a spinoff.

Overall, Soul of Gold was definitely great. I really didn’t have any big issues with it. Of course it would be nice if the show was longer and could get more arcs but it would probably get more and more difficult to do this without having them get in the way of the main series. After a while it may be forced if the heroes aren’t able to get to Hades. The ending also could have been a bit different, I’d prefer many different options to how things played out here. In a way it’s because it feels like a bit of a cop out. The classic “If you didn’t watch the show then you didn’t miss anything” kind of feel. I always think making the whole show not feel important after all is a shame. It doesn’t take away from the experience but it would be nice to tell someone they have to watch this to find out what’s going on in the Saint Seiya saga. With the way the ending goes (Don’t worry, it’s not a dream) you can’t really say that but I would still highly recommend this to anyone who wants a good action story. In this case it is highly recommended you watch the classic Saint Seiya show first though.

Overall 8/10